Monday, February 22, 2010

Wacky cake

Kids have eclectic tastes, and we must admire them for it.

The Big Timber Grade School Cookbook (2008) is a unique collection of kid-approved recipes that you might like to try yourself even if you don't have kids. Guaranteed the kids in your life will find plenty to enjoy.

The book was compiled as a fund-raiser for the Big Timber grade school, and it is the best community cookbook I have tried. Among the classic recipes are brownies, fried bologna sandwiches, and pizza, all kid pleasers no matter how you make them.

But recipes you might not find anywhere else (or hardly anywhere else) include Vanishing Oatmeal, Sparkly Cupcakes, Dinosaur Chow, and (would you want to leave Santa out?) Magic Reindeer Food.

To give you a real taste of what this cookbook can do for you, I chose to make Wacky Cake -- or Whacky Cake, depending on which recipe you use; I combined the two recipes found in this cookbook. All you do is dump ingredients in a pan, stir a bit, and bake. If I can do it, so can you! Or at least your 5-year-old could.

W[h]acky Cake

Put in ungreased 8x8-inch pan and then stir to combine:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda

Make three wells in the dry ingredients.

In one, place 1 teaspoon vanilla;
in another, place 1 tablespoon vinegar;
in another, place 5 tablespoons oil.

OK, this looks like one-eyed Pete, the spitting fool, but carry on . . .

Pour 1 cup cold water over all, and stir to mix all ingredients together. Do not beat.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until center springs back at a touch.

I did a slap-dash stir, which resulted in a wackier cake than the student who submitted it probably intended. Or maybe not. Make it yourself and do it any way you please.

One thing I must warn you about is that this is not a bakery shop cake. One recipe variation said: "No need to beat (this ruins the texture)." I am not sure what "texture" they are worried about ruining. It is a pretty chewy cake and even if you beat it, I don't think that will change much. But again, you be the judge in your own kitchen.

It's a nice cake, easy to make, and could be improved with a slathering of homemade chocolate frosting. (The recipe on the can of Hershey's Cocoa has been a long-time favorite of mine.) I mean, what wouldn't be improved with chocolate frosting??

If you'd like a copy of this delightful and oddly useful cookbook -- for the price of postage and a donation to the grade school (any amount) -- write a comment (I won't publish it unless you want me to), and we'll get the process going.


  1. Mary - I'm a lurker on your blog...thanks to Cliff's ( link to your blog under the "Cool Blogs" section. I have 2 kids at home and need all the help I can get. I'd love to have a copy of the cookbook. But, I can tell you I'm going to make the W[h]acky Cake soon. I may even let my daughter make it. It seems considerably easier than the yeast rolls I tried from Cliff's blog!

    Please let me know how much postage is and where to send my donation (or if I need to send it all to you). Thanks. --Penni Todd

  2. Gotta Love the Kiddos! What a great idea not only for a fundraiser but to get the kids to help with meals. They can make the cake and let it bake while dinner is on. How can I get a copy?